Rutherglen

Rutherglen
Having split, with patience, 
my first pound note
I kept the two halves
in case of disbelief. 
They gave me a glow. 
But I was now wound up
tingling for conquest
and as I stared at them
I seized another note
washed my hands
examined my nails
took chair to table.
In best midday light
made one note two
removed metal strip
made two one again. 
A happy hour!
So I kept the strip
recirculated the note
thought of whoever
would hold it to the light. 
O the consequences!
O the delight!
Edwin Morgan

from Dreams and Other Nightmares: New and Uncollected Poems 1954 – 2009  (Edinburgh: Mariscat, 2010)

Reproduced by permission of the Estate of Edwin Morgan.
Edwin Morgan

Born Glasgow, Edwin Morgan lived there all his life, except for service with the RAMC, and his poetry is grounded in the city.  Yet the title of his 1973 collection, From Glasgow to Saturn, suggests the enormous range of Morgan's subject matter. He was Glasgow's first Poet Laureate 1999-2002, and the first to hold the post of 'Scots Makar', created by the Scottish Executive in 2004 to recognise the achievement of Scottish poets throughout the centuries. 

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About Rutherglen

This poem was included in Best Scottish Poems 2010. Best Scottish Poems is an online publication, consisting of 20 poems chosen by a different editor each year, with comments by the editor and poets. It provides a personal overview of a year of Scottish poetry. The editor in 2010 was Jen Hadfield.

Editor's comment: 
In this poem, Morgan's voice – his breathless excitement and Morgan almost making a kitsch of his own breathlessness – persists despite his apparent absence. 'Beyond' is his own preposition, with the implication of frontiers crossed, poems vibrating beyond the frontier of their final, but not closing, line. Maybe the last interface ('A Dream of Living Waters') can be 'bagged'.